The Studio Job - Recap
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In Memphis, Kaye Lynn and her brother are working on their newest song when record producer Mitchell Kirkwood and his thugs break in. He warns them not to talk to lawyers and has his men break the brother's hands.
Kaye Lynn meets with Nate and Eliot and tells them that her brother will never play again. Eliot sympathizes, and Kaye Lynn explains that Kirkwood owns a record label. He hired them to write songs for other more established singers, but he ripped them off using their contract fine print. He ended up owing them hundreds of thousands in royalties that he never paid, and instead offered to let them record their own album in the studio and get them a spot in a music festival. He then took the album and stole the songs.
Hardison briefs the team on Kirkwood, including his one song that he released. He used the money to build his record company, and has forced opponents to settle out of court through any means. They plan to steal the digital masters, which are stored in Kirkwood's headquarters. They also have to get back her money and make sure that Kirkwood can't come after them. Nate and Sophie decide on a fiddle game con, and Nate explains that they're going to sell a fiddle, for more than its worth.
In Memphis, Kirkwood arrives at the saloon he owns and discovers that due to a computer glitch, a woman is sitting at his table. While he waits for a new table, Kirkwood sits at the bar and ends up next to Nate, who buys him a drink and introduces himself as an agent for Eliot.
Hardison goes to the sound booth and checks the sound engineer's computer records to see his favorite songs. He tells Parker, who pickpockets tickets from everyone in the room. When the sound engineer returns, Hardison claims that he is supposed to be there and offers the man tickets for his favorite singers. Parker slips them under the door and Hardison "finds" them. The man leaves with the tickets and Hardison goes to work.
Kirkwood is busy boasting to Nate about his success, and Nate informs him that a European agent is offering to buy $25,000 for the rights to the song. Nate points out the woman, Sophie, and explains she's there to make the purchase. Kirkwood offers to help negotiate with her. Eliot prepares to perform and finally admits that he's nervous in front of the crowd. Hardison has rigged his laptop to alter Eliot's pitch as he performs, making it perfect in real time.
Kirkwood flirts with Sophie and offers to show her around. He assures her that her laptop and cell phone will be safe. When they leave, Kirkwood's head goon Mossberg checks them out. He calls her studio and Nate takes the call, and the laptop confirms she workers for rapper K-Sent from England.
Eliot is nervously practicing Kaye Lynn's song, and warns that it's the only one they have left. He assures her that they'll get her money and her music back. She helps him practice, getting in close. Kaye Lynn then tries to get him to tap into his feelings rather than overthinking it, and asks if he's been in love. He admits that it ended when he couldn't keep his promise to be there with her, because he made a similar promise to the government. Kaye Lynn tells him that's the feeling he has to hold onto.
Mossberg secretly tells Kirkwood what he's learned, and Kirkwood confronts Sophie. He wants to know why K-Gent is interested in the song, and Sophie admits that Eliot's song caught the rapper's attention, and she wants to buy it because he realizes how good it is.
Eliot goes up on stage to perform and Hardison is surprised to learn that he doesn't need any adjustment. Kirkwood tells Mossberg to make sure that Nate doesn't leave.
Eliot goes backstage and Kaye Lynn congratulates him, and they kiss. Eliot takes out his earbud for a little privacy.
Mossberg's thugs haul Nate away, and he signals for Eliot, who doesn't hear him.
The sound engineer returns to the booth and tells Hardison that the tickets are for the wrong night.
Kirkwood offers to get Nate to accept Sophie's deal, and assures her that he'll think of some way for her to pay.
Once Eliot and Kaye Lynn are done, he puts in the earbud and realizes that Nate is in trouble. He finds a woman outside and discovers that she wants his autograph, and stops to give it to her.
Mossberg brings Kirkwood to see Nate, and they discover that the two guards are unconscious. Kirkwood gives him $100,000 for Eliot's song. The next day, they give the money to Kaye Lynn as partial payment for what she lost, while Parker tries on a new costume.
At Kirkwood Records, Kirkwood's assistant J.C. comes to see Hardison, who is posing as a rapper there to record Eliot's song. With him is his girlfriend and singer Parker, posing as Bjork. The teammates do everything they can to distract J.C. and keep her frazzled. Eliot tries to get to the studio, only to discover that his newfound fans are chasing him down the street. He warns Hardison that he can't afford to have his face out there given all the rewards on his head.
Nate and Sophie are having breakfast at their hotel when Kirkwood walks in. Sophie immediately slaps Nate to keep in character and then snaps at Kirkwood, blaming him for negotiating behind her back.
J.C. takes Eliot to the studio, and Parker makes bizarre demands so she can keep the assistant away running errands. She steals J.C.'s key card so she can get into Kirkwood's office and look for the digitals. She finally finds them beneath a floor panel.
Kirkwood gives the rights to Eliot's song to free, but tells her to forget that she ever heard of Eliot. In return he plans to jumpstart his career with the song and have Sophie agree to have Hardison sample it. When Kirkwood steps away to take a call, Sophie calls Nate and tells her that they have a problem. Meanwhile, Kirkwood tells Mossberg to eliminate Eliot.
Parker gets the digitals to Hardison. They find Kaye Lynn's song and another digital of the song that Kirkwood performed. The artist's name is blacked out.
Mossberg comes to get Eliot in the studio. Eliot disarms him and a fight breaks out in the soundproof studio. Outside, Hardison confirms that someone else originally performed Kirkwood's single. Kirkwood adjusted the print of the original performer, Jesse Jenkins, who tried to sue Kirkwood and disappeared. They figure Kirkwood has the same thing in mind for Eliot. Eliot defeats his opponent and they head back to the hotel. However, they realize that Hardison left Kaye Lynn's song in the deck. Eliot goes back to get her, warning that Kirkwood and his goons will go after her when they realize she's involved.
When Eliot gets to Kaye Lynn's home, she tells them that Kirkwood has taken her spot at the festival and plans to perform her brother's song. She's angry that Eliot and the team have lost the only thing she has left. Eliot tells her to come with him to the festival. Nate warns that it's too late, and Hardison confirms via Kirkwood's GPS transmitter that he's heading for the festival. Eliot vows to get Kaye Lynn's song back and drives to the festival with her on his motorcycle. Nate decides that they need to change the rules and get their client a second chance. As they go, they spot some of Eliot's fans and Nate gets an idea. He has Hardison put out a Twitter meme sending them to Kirkwood's truck, stopping it at a light. Kirkwood has no choice but to get out and proceed on foot.
The team arrives at the festival and find Kirkwood there, but Eliot is still on the road. Parker decides to create a distraction, going up on stage and making animal noises. Eliot drives into the building and heads backstage while Kaye Lynn goes up front. In the backstage room, Eliot confronts Kirkwood and accuses him of murdering Jenkins. Kirkwood refuses to confess, punching Eliot in the stomach and making sure he can't be heard on the nearby microphones as he admits that he killed Jenkins.
When the bouncers get Parker off the stage, Kirkwood and starts lip syncing to the altered recording of Eliot's performance. Kaye Lynn joins in and then takes over, and the audience applauds. Hardison plays back a recording of Kirkwood admitting to Eliot that he killed Jenkins, a recording made via the earbud. When Kirkwood claims it's a joke and tries to escape, Eliot returns his earlier punch with interest and takes him down.
As the police take Kirkwood away, Kaye Lynn meets with the talent scouts. She thanks Eliot, who gives her the digital recording, and invites him to come with her. He kisses her and then tells her that he's already down the road of his life. Eliot leaves with the team, and wonders how Nate took the two thugs out. Sophie wonders where Eliot was. A teenager approaches Eliot, but it turns out that she only wants the time, not an autograph, and he irritably tells her to get lost.